Move away MIHAN – Navi Mumbai Airport to become India’s second MRO hub

Navi Mumbai Airport
Gloom and doom again for Nagpur and Vidarbha and Boom time all over again for Mumbai – Navi Mumbai this time.

The hype around MIHAN had all been around the MRO that Beoing and Air India were going to develop – the biggest in India they had promised! A tiny little facility did come up and one plane has been re hauled here … to show us innocents that something is happening. Don’t cry – here is this lollipop for you Nagpur! But sorry, the cake is going to Vasi. That is where the action is, what to do? A new Port near Panvel, a brand new international airport, close by to the present airport – over 900 flights landing there, what better spot could there be?

So with the availability of 160 hectares of land, the Navi Mumbai international airport (NMIA) will soon get a state-of art MRO facility, CIDCO has announced.

“This will be the SECOND MRO in India they have declared – the first being Rajiv Gandhi Airport at Hyderabad, the press release says. No mention of Nagpur at all – see?!

CIDCO says the MRO facility is being planned as a ‘value addition’ for the proposed international airport. Further this MRO will be built on the PPP basis which will be finalised by December 2016 – that is within 5 months.

On the other hand see how the project of handing over Nagpur ‘international airport’ to a private player to run is continually being put on a back burner. At the beginning of 2015 we were told that the tenders would be finalized by August 2015 and now we are soon going to be into August 2016 and there is no action. We are told that the tender process will take another 2 months. Privately, we learn that no pvt. company is really interested in developing Nagpur. Why should they be interested? Whereas all the Indian metros have hundreds of planes taking off everyday, Nagpur has – 24.

“We have more flying aircrafts which is a basic airline requirement for developing an MRO” says Vijay Kumar, Chief General Manager, CIDCO.

If it is not going to burn our hearts more, read this – NMIA will have the capacity to accomodate up to 80 million passengers per annum and it will have 120 dedicated slots for parking compared to 90 at Mumbai airport.

When I google searched what developments are happening around other Indian airports, I found this list where new developments are happening rapidly –

Kolkata, Ranchi, Tiruchirapalli, Bhopal, Jaisalmer, Indore, Raipur, Amritsar, Varanasi, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Khajuraho, Jaipur, Aurangabad, Udaipur, Mysore, Dehra Dun, Ahmedabad, Mysore, Dibrugarh, Surat, Srinagar, Leh, Madurai, Port Blair, Goa, Vadodara, Jammu, Coimbatore, Nagpur and Thiruvananthapuram are some of the airports where new passenger terminals are in use or under construction. Visakhapatnam’s airport now includes a new integrated passenger terminal with an annual handling capacity of 3 m passengers a with a total floor area of ca 20,000 m². Vizag’s airport like Goa’s Dabolim, is controlled by the Indian Navy. A new ₹1.5 bn integrated passenger terminal at Mangalore’s Bajpe airport was completed in 2010. A new 17,500 m² terminal is operational at Madurai airport which like many other small and medium-sized airports (passenger volume wise) across India has witnessed significant growth rates during the past couple of years. A new greenfield airport at Pekyong in the north-eastern state of Sikkim, the only Indian state currently without air connections, is presently under construction. The airfield will be capable of handling upto ATR turboprop sized aircraft.

See, where Nagpur figures?? Somewhere at the bottom of the list.

Aurangabad, Bhopal, Jaipur , Raipur figure much before us…

Time for our politicians to wake up and get pro active about MIHAN. Can you please begin by giving us a full time M.D. at least?